The book of Ruth in the Old Testament is a compelling story that contains hope, love and redemption.
During the time of the Judges, there was a famine in the land. The book of Ruth is the story of Naomi and Ruth making a pilgrimage back to the Promised Land where they encounter their Kindsmen-Redeemer, Boaz.
Elimelek, Ruth, and their two sons traveled to Moab to find food during the famine. While they were in Moab, their two sons married Moabite women named Orpah and Ruth. After the father and two sons die Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth are widows with a bleak future. Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem. During this journey Naomi tells her daughter’s-in-law to return to Moab where they can remarry and live out peaceful lives. Orpah decides to return, and Ruth refuses by expressing her commitment to Naomi and to her God.
Ruth 1:16-17 says,16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”
This amazing confession represented Ruth’s commitment to her mother-in-law, Naomi, and a decisive rejection of the pagan religion of the Moabites. This is a bold statement of her faith in the God of Israel.
When they arrive in Bethlehem, Ruth begins gleaning in a field owned by Boaz. Ruth has a face to face conversation with Boaz which starts the most famous love story found in the Bible.
This love story becomes a representation of Jesus Christ and His relationship with His bride, the church. Like Ruth, we are lost and outside the covenant family of God. We are bankrupt with no hope of God’s mercy. But God took the initiative and provided a way for us to enter His family through faith in Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Clear Application for Today
- Commitment to family is valuable.
- God blesses hard work.
- God blesses His children in the midst of their circumstances.
- God provided a Redeemer, His name is Jesus!